SEO Agency vs. In-House: Which is Better For Your Business?

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Search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to any digital marketing strategy. It can help your business get more organic traffic, increase brand visibility, and improve search engine rankings.

The question is, should you hire an SEO agency or manage your own SEO in-house? This article will explore the pros and cons of both options to help you make an informed decision about which is better for your business.

The benefits of working with an agency

Expertise and experience

One of the main benefits of working with an SEO agency is their expertise and experience.

SEO Agency vs. In-House Which is Better For Your Business

SEO agencies have a team of experts who specialize in various aspects of SEO, including keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, and content creation

These experts have years of experience working with different businesses and industries and know the best strategies to use for your business. Brisbane for example, is known for its excellent range of SEO specialists.

Meaning that locals looking for an agency with expert knowledge of SEO in Brisbane are spoiled for choice. However, making sure you do your research and check online reviews is always a good option.

Saves time and resources

SEO can be a time-consuming process that requires a lot of resources, including manpower, tools, and software.

By working with an SEO agency, you can save time and resources that you would have otherwise used in-house. This allows you to focus on other important aspects of your business while the agency takes care of your SEO needs.

Improved SEO Strategy

SEO agencies are constantly updating their strategies to keep up with the ever-changing algorithms of search engines.

By working with an agency, you get access to the latest and most effective SEO strategies that will help improve your website's ranking on search engines. This ensures that your business remains competitive and visible online.

Better ROI

Working with an SEO agency can help improve your return on investment (ROI).

SEO agencies know how to optimize your website to attract the right audience and convert them into customers. This means you get more qualified leads, higher conversion rates, and ultimately, more revenue for your business.

Possible downsides of SEO agencies


One of the biggest downsides of working with an SEO agency is the cost. SEO services can be expensive, and some agencies charge exorbitant fees

Additionally, it can be difficult to determine the return on investment (ROI) for SEO services, making it challenging to justify the cost.

Lack of control 

When you work with an SEO agency, you are entrusting them with your website and online presence.

This means that you may have limited control over the strategies they use and the tactics they implement. While you may have input into the overall strategy, the agency will ultimately make the decisions about how to optimize your site.

Communication Issues 

Communication can be a challenge when working with an SEO agency.


Some agencies may not provide regular updates or communicate clearly about their strategies and tactics. This can make it difficult to track progress and understand the impact of their work.

Unethical practices

Unfortunately, some SEO agencies use unethical practices to achieve results quickly.

This may include using black hat tactics such as keyword stuffing, cloaking, or buying links. These practices can result in penalties from search engines, which can harm your website's visibility and reputation.

Limited knowledge of your business

SEO agencies work with many different clients, which means that they may not have a deep understanding of your business, industry, or target audience

This can make it challenging for them to create a customized strategy that aligns with your specific goals and objectives.

The benefits of in-house SEO

In-house SEO (Search Engine Optimization) refers to the practice of having an internal team dedicated to improving the search engine visibility of a company's website.

While outsourcing SEO services to an agency is a popular option for many businesses, there are several benefits to having an in-house SEO team. Here are some of the benefits:

Greater control and flexibility

With an in-house SEO team, the business has greater control over the SEO strategies and tactics implemented.

The team can easily adapt to changes in business needs, and they can work more closely with other departments to ensure that all aspects of the website are optimized for search engines.

Better communication

Communication is key when it comes to SEO. With an in-house team, communication is streamlined and there are fewer communication gaps.

The team can collaborate with other departments such as content, design, and development to ensure that all elements of the website are optimized.

Better understanding of the business

An in-house SEO team has a better understanding of the business and its goals.

They can work more closely with the marketing team to ensure that the SEO strategy is aligned with the overall marketing goals. They can also easily adapt to changes in the business and adjust their strategy accordingly.


While outsourcing SEO services to an agency can be costly, having an in-house team can be more cost-effective in the long run.

The business can save money on agency fees and can invest in training and development for the in-house team.

Faster implementation 

With an in-house SEO team, changes and updates to the website can be implemented more quickly

Faster implementation

The team can work more efficiently to make changes to the website, which can lead to faster improvements in search engine rankings.

The downsides of working with in-house SEO

Working with an in-house SEO team can have several benefits, such as having direct control over your website's optimization, having a team dedicated to your company's SEO strategy, and having easy access to the team for collaboration and communication.

However, there are also some downsides to working with an in-house SEO team that businesses should consider.

Limited resources

In-house SEO teams may have limited resources, such as budget and manpower, which can impact their ability to effectively optimize your website. This can lead to slower progress, limited experimentation, and potentially suboptimal results.

Lack of expertise

While in-house SEO teams may have some level of expertise, they may not have the same level of experience or knowledge as an external SEO agency that works with multiple clients across various industries. 

This can limit the team's ability to implement the latest best practices and innovative strategies.

Tunnel vision

In-house SEO teams may have a limited perspective on your website's SEO, as they are often focused solely on your company's website

An external SEO agency, on the other hand, can provide a more holistic view of the industry and competition, allowing for more effective strategies.

Limited accountability

In-house SEO teams may not be held as accountable for results as external agencies, as they are often part of the company's overall marketing team. This can lead to complacency and a lack of urgency to continuously improve and innovate.

Employee turnover

Employee turnover can be a challenge for in-house SEO teams, as it can lead to a loss of institutional knowledge and experience. This can impact the team's ability to effectively implement strategies and achieve desired results.

Examples of companies using an SEO agency vs in-house SEO

Examples of companies using an SEO agency include Microsoft, Dell, and Amazon. These companies have large budgets and need a comprehensive approach to SEO.

An agency can provide them with the expertise, resources, and experience necessary to succeed in the competitive online environment

Companies using an in-house SEO team include startups and small businesses. These companies may not have the resources to hire an SEO agency, but they can still benefit from an in-house team.

An in-house SEO team can provide personalized SEO strategies tailored to the company’s needs and goals. Ultimately, the decision to use an SEO agency or an in-house team depends on the company’s size and resources.

Companies that have a large budget and need a comprehensive approach to SEO should consider using an SEO agency. Companies with limited resources should consider an in-house team.

How much should you invest in SEO

When it comes to investing in SEO, there is no one size fits all answer. How much to invest in SEO depends on a variety of factors such as the size of your business, the competition in your market, and your budget

How much should you invest in SEO

For small businesses, the cost of SEO can range from a few hundred dollars per month to a few thousand dollars per month.

This depends on the complexity of the project and the type of services that you need. If you’re just starting out and don’t have a large budget, it’s best to focus on the basics such as keyword research and on-page optimization.

This will help you build a foundation for higher rankings and organic traffic. As your budget increases, you can add more advanced services such as link-building and content marketing

Medium-sized businesses can typically invest between $2,000 and $10,000 per month into SEO. 

This will help you to create a comprehensive SEO campaign that covers all the bases. This includes keyword research, on-page optimization, link building, content marketing, and more. 

Large businesses can invest anywhere from $10,000 to $50,000 per month into SEO.

This will enable you to run an aggressive campaign that covers all aspects of SEO. It will also help you stay ahead of your competition and reach the top of the search engine rankings.

Final words

In conclusion, SEO Agency vs. In-House SEO is a decision that should be based on the individual needs of your business.

If you have the resources or a budget to hire an SEO agency, it may be the best solution for you. However, if you are looking for a more cost-effective solution, in-house SEO might be the better option

Ultimately, the decision should be based on the specific goals and objectives of your business.

About the author 

Peter Keszegh

Most people write this part in the third person but I won't. You're at the right place if you want to start or grow your online business. When I'm not busy scaling up my own or other people' businesses, you'll find me trying out new things and discovering new places. Connect with me on Facebook, just let me know how I can help.

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